Canada considers a tougher takeover law

 
Marion Dakers
CANADA is considering toughening up its foreign investment rules in the wake of its rejection BHP Billiton’s bid for Saskatchewan company Potash Corp last week.

Industry minister Tony Clement, who said last week that BHP Billiton’s $39bn (£24.7bn) hostile bid for Potash did not deliver a net benefit to the country, said in an interview yesterday: “The prime minister and I both feel the process worked very well in the review of the BHP bid… There are some points of view out there that are worth looking at.”

Clement said the review of the Investment Canada Act was not a direct result of the BHP offer, and told the Financial Times he was open to suggestions of how to deal with potential “delinquent investors” in the future.

He added that the government would look at ways to compel foreign companies to provide concessions such as jobs and technology for the country.

Canada’s foreign investment law, which was used to block a deal for the second time in 25 years last wrrk, currently applies to takeovers where the target company’s assets are worth more than C$299m (£184.7m).

UK-listed BHP Billiton has said it would continue to work with the government to iron out the problems standing in the way of a takeover.